Most consumers assume that a healthy bank account means having thousands in your account at any given time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Maintaining a healthy bank account has very little to do with how much money you have but more to do with how you manage the account.
Khathu Ramoliko, Sub-Segment Head for FNB Gold says under the current economic circumstances, consumers are on the lookout for ways to cut costs while some resort to extraordinary steps such as skipping debit order payments or withdrawing every cent the minute they get their salary.
“This kind of behaviour carries a number of risks – not only will your account be overdrawn but the long-term negative impact will be adverse remarks on your credit record should you skip debit orders. This is why it’s important for consumers to know the importance of keeping their bank accounts in good standing,” he explains.
There are easier ways of maintaining a healthy bank account while managing any potential financial risks. Khathu says it is essential to do a health check on your finances by looking at items coming out of or into your bank account. He says most people avoid looking at their finances until things go wrong. “Simply looking at where you may be overspending could help you: for example, cutting back on items such as entertainment, coffee, snacks can help you keep your finances in good health.”
Another way of ensuring you keep a healthy bank account is to have an account that suits your needs and financial aspirations, because as it stands, you may not be getting your money’s worth. Consider your options thoroughly, instead of choosing a pay as you use account that accumulates costs for each transaction, rather take up a bundle option where you pay a single fee for a comprehensive range of services. Not only are bundle fees easier to understand but you also get to save on fees.
“We see the majority of our Gold customers being able to get much more value from their bundled accounts as it gives them the ability to control their spend, earn eBucks Rewards while enjoying a number of free benefits like free card swipes and cash@till transactions. The upside of having a good handle on your account is that you are able to balance between saving and spending,” he says.
Khathu says another important factor is the need to be responsible about debt, pointing out that your bank account gives a reliable assessment of your relationship with money.
“Whether it’s a personal loan or an application for housing finance, you need to be able to demonstrate through your bank statement that you can afford the loan for the duration of the payment term. On the savings side, make provision for emergencies by setting up a scheduled transfer into a savings account, this money can cushion you against any unplanned costs, such as having to replace your car tyres unexpectedly for example.
“Consumers must always prioritise keeping a healthy bank account as it gives a person much more financial flexibility and better financial prospects,” concludes Khathu.